Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials

Interim Report

Committee on Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials

Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
WASHINGTON, D.C.
1997



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--> Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials Interim Report Committee on Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS WASHINGTON, D.C. 1997

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--> NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is interim president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This study was supported by Contract No. TATF-96-17 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of the Treasury. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Limited copies of this report are available from: Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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--> Committee on Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials MARYE ANNE FOX, University of Texas, Chair EDWARD M. ARNETT, Duke University, Vice Chair ALEXANDER BEVERIDGE, Royal Canadian Mounted Police ALAN L. CALNAN, Southwestern University School of Law TUNG HO CHEN, U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center HERBERT S. ELEUTERIO, National University of Singapore WILLIAM M. HAYNES, Monsanto Company ROBERT B. HOPLER, Powderman Consulting, Inc. ALEXANDER MacLACHLAN, Department of Energy (retired) LYLE O. MALOTKY, Federal Aviation Administration DAVID W. McCALL, AT&T Bell Laboratories (retired) DOUGLAS B. OLSON, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology JIMMIE C. OXLEY, University of Rhode Island and Gordon Research Conferences ROBERT M. PENTZ, Aerospace Corporation ANTHONY J. SILVESTRI, Mobil Research and Development Corporation (retired) JUDITH BANNON SNOW, Los Alamos National Laboratory FRANK H. STILLINGER, Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies ANDREW E. TASLITZ, Howard University School of Law Liaison Members JOHN J. WISE, Mobil Research and Development Corporation (Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology) EDWARD C. DOWLING, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company (National Materials Advisory Board) Project Staff DOUGLAS J. RABER, Study Director and Director, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST) ROBERT SCHAFRIK, Director, National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB) GREG EYRING, Consultant, NMAB SANDRA HYLAND, Senior Program Officer, NMAB RYANNE J. MAYERSAK, Research Assistant, BCST TRACY D. WILSON, Senior Program Officer, BCST

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--> Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology ROYCE C. MURRAY, University of North Carolina, Co-Chair JOHN J. WISE, Mobil Research and Development Corporation, Co-Chair HANS C. ANDERSEN, Stanford University JOHN L. ANDERSON, Carnegie Mellon University DAVID C. BONNER, Westlake Group PHILIP H. BRODSKY, Monsanto Company MARVIN H. CARUTHERS, University of Colorado GREGORY R. CHOPPIN, Florida State University MOSTAFA EL-SAYED, Georgia Institute of Technology JOANNA S. FOWLER, Brookhaven National Laboratory JUDITH C. GIORDAN, Villanova, Pennsylvania LOUIS C. GLASGOW, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company JOSEPH G. GORDON II, IBM Almaden Research Center ROBERT H. GRUBBS, California Institute of Technology VICTORIA F. HAYNES, B.F. Goodrich Company GEORGE J. HIRASAKI, Rice University GARY E. MCGRAW, Eastman Chemical Company WAYNE H. PITCHER, JR., Genencor Corporation GABOR A. SOMORJAI, University of California at Berkeley JOAN S. VALENTINE, University of California at Los Angeles WILLIAM J. WARD III, General Electric Company Staff DOUGLAS J. RABER, Director TAMAE MAEDA WONG, Senior Program Officer TRACY D. WILSON, Senior Program Officer MARIA P. JONES, Senior Project Assistant RYANNE J. MAYERSAK, Research Assistant SYBIL A. PAIGE, Administrative Associate

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--> Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation, Co-Chair W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado, Co-Chair PETER M. BANKS, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan LAWRENCE D. BROWN, University of Pennsylvania RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University JOHN E. ESTES, University of California at Santa Barbara L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, Elf Atochem North America Inc. JOHN E. HOPCROFT, Cornell University RHONDA J. HUGHES, Bryn Mawr College SHIRLEY A. JACKSON, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California at Los Angeles DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania THOMAS A. PRINCE, California Institute of Technology NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory L.E. SCRIVEN, University of Minnesota SHMUEL WINOGRAD, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center CHARLES A. ZRAKET, MITRE Corporation (retired) NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

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--> Preface The Committee on Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials (see Appendix A) was appointed by the National Research Council to address four basic areas: (a) the viability of adding tracer elements to explosives for the purpose of detection, (b) the viability of adding tracer elements to explosives for the purpose of identification, (c) the feasibility and practicability of rendering inert common chemicals used to manufacture explosive materials, and (d) the feasibility and practicability of imposing controls on certain precursor chemicals used to manufacture explosive materials. (See Appendix B for a detailed statement of task.) As part of these tasks, the committee is also considering risks to human life or safety, utility to law enforcement, effects on the quality and reliability of the explosive materials for their intended lawful use, potential effects on the environment, and the cost-effectiveness of these approaches. The study focuses on issues in science and technology, with the goal being to frame the issues and furnish a report that provides a clear description of the technical options that exist. The committee's final report of the results of this study will provide advice to officials of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms on which to base recommendations to Congress. It will also clearly set forth any opinions and findings obtained as a result of consultation with other federal, state, and local officials, regulated industry members, and fertilizer research centers. This interim report describes progress to date (March 1997) and summarizes recent workshop presentations concerning current developments and critical issues in “tagging” explosive materials for the purposes of detection or identification. The final report containing the committee's conclusions and recommendations will be published in February 1998. In its initial meetings, the committee received a number of briefings (see Appendix C) and held subsequent deliberations. These presentations are summarized in this interim report. The reader is cautioned that the committee does not present any conclusions or recommendations in this report, as it believes it is premature to do so at this time. This study is being conducted by the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology with technical insights and assistance provided by the National Materials Advisory Board and its staff. The committee acknowledges this support. The committee is also grateful to the many individuals who provided technical information and insights during briefings at the committee's initial meetings. This information represents a sound foundation on which the committee can base its continuing work. The committee continues to solicit input from the scientific community and affected stakeholders on the issues delineated in the committee's charge and to consider other sources of information relevant to this study. The chair is also particularly grateful to the members of this committee, who worked diligently and effectively on a demanding schedule to produce this interim report. MARYE ANNE FOX, CHAIR COMMITTEE ON MARKING, RENDERING INERT, AND LICENSING OF EXPLOSIVE MATERIALS

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--> Contents     Marking, Rendering Inert, and Licensing of Explosive Materials         Introduction   1     Actions Leading to This Study   2     Statement of Task   2     Scope of the Study   3     Approach to Conducting the Study   3     Background   4     Current Explosives Threat   4     Taggant Types and Previous Uses   5     Detection Taggants   5     Identification Taggants   5     History of Taggant Research and Use   6     Previous Evaluation of Taggants   6     Committee's Approach to Evaluation of Taggants   6     Taggant Taxonomy   6     Taggant Concept Screening Questions   7     Taggant Vendors   9     Taggant Stakeholders   12     Further Work by the Committee   15     Appendices     A   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   16 B   Detailed Statement of Task   21 C   Committee Meetings   24 D   Language of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996   29 E   Working Bibliography   32 F   Taggant Stakeholder Letter   37 G   Acronyms and Abbreviations   38

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